Congratulations on the purchase of your new Mosaico handmade cement Tiles! With proper installation and care of your tiles, they will last for many decades and with only a few simple steps, their beauty will increase with time. This guide has been created to assist you, or your appointed installer, in ensuring the best look, results and performance of your tiled surface.
Preparing your tiles for installation
As cement tiles are handcrafted products, you can expect some slight variations in color, shade, and thickness which are part of the tiles aesthetic appeal. When laying your tiles out we advise you to batch mix them randomly from different boxes, in order to balance tone variations within the same color hue. Keep in mind that shipping may also affect the integrity of the tiles, where 2 to 3% breakage should be considered normal, so please inspect your tiles closely when removing from the boxes. You may notice a cement dust residue that should be wiped off with a damp sponge from the tiles prior to installation. Stubborn residue is easily removed with water and rubbing with 400 grit sandpaper. After being properly cleaned, the rear of the tiles should be pre-wet with a spray bottle mist or damp sponge before setting.
Inspecting your walls & floor prior to installation
Prior to laying the tiles, the walls/floors should be inspected thoroughly. The surface needs to be level and waterproofed properly, it should also be cleaned with neutral detergent. The substrate where you will apply your tiles needs to be completely dry prior to installation of the tiles, or moisture in the substrate will want to escape through your tiles, staining them.
Keep in mind that expansion joints will be required for large floor or wall surfaces to prevent cracking the tile(we advise you to check with your architect or engineer for expansion joint requirements and recommendations).
Your installer will need to plan and allow for 19mm to 20mm below your finished floor height (15 mm for the tiles & 4 mm for the mortar).
Installation of your tiles
To obtain the best results and look, it is essential to follow the steps listed below. The workmanship in laying the tiles is crucial to obtain optimum aesthetics and performance results. The procedure is the same for installing the cement tiles on walls or floors. It is important to make sure you install your tiles after all other construction works are completed.
What your tile installer will need:
- High quality thin-set adhesive cement based mortar;
- Standard cementitious unsanded grouts (do not use “permacolor” grouts);
- Sharp diamond blade cutting disk in wet saw;
- Notched Trowel No. 8-10;
- Bucket with clean water and a sponge.
- Clean the back and sides of the tiles with a damp sponge;
- Minimum grout is best in order to not disturb the pattern; ideally use 1 to 2 mm spacers. However, 3 to 4 mm joints are necessary when using underfloor heating mats or cables. Our recommendation is to wait 10-12 weeks after fixing the tiles before starting to use the heating system;
- Using the notched trowel, apply a 4-mm-thick layer of adhesive on the surface to be covered and simultaneously on the full back of the tile. Ensure 100% even and complete coverage on both substrate surface and tile, with thin-set mortar. Under no circumstances attempt a “dot & dab” fixing method;
- Gently press the tiles into the floor adhesive bed with a perpendicular back and forth motion to collapse ridges and ensure a level set. Only use hands to press the tiles against the mortar, do not use mallets or rubber hammers;
- Always check that the tiles are perfectly level throughout the installation and that the patterns are perfectly aligned;
- Use a sharp diamond blade in wet saw to cut your tiles straight and avoid chipping the edges;
- Work in small areas at a time and make sure to clean as you go. Immediately wipe off any excess adhesive from the tiles with a clean, damp cloth or sponge before it dries;
- Do not step on the tiles until the adhesive has set thoroughly;
- Clean the tiles and do not cover them, allowing them to dry completely. It usually takes 48 to 72 hours;
- The last step is to apply the first coat of sealer with a white cotton rag or spray and let it dry for 24 hours. You have an option to either maintain the original look or to enhance the appearance to produce a darker wet look depending on the sealer you use.
- To grout the tiles, your installer will need a solution with neutral detergent diluted in water and a clean sponge. Be aware that any prior sealing does not necessarily prevent excess grout from sticking to the surface. It is thus of paramount importance that any excess grout on the surface of the tile is wiped off immediately and meticulously after grouting;
- Using diagonal strokes, apply the grout to small areas at a time with a rubber grout float so that any excess grout on the face of the tiles can be wiped off immediately;
- Once the grout is dried we advise to clean the tiles with neutral detergent and let them dry completely until the tiles regain their original color;
- The last step is to apply a second coat of sealer to offer maximum protection. After it has dried, the surface should be cleaned with neutral soap. Never use acid-based cleaners on cement tiles.
Disclaimer : The information contained in this document/ website is for general guidance only. While we have made every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information provided, Mosaico FZC takes no responsibility for any errors or omissions, and all information is provided “as is”, with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from the use of this information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied.